The township manager of a Chester County, Pennsylvania, municipality was charged by the county district attorney with embezzling more than $3 million over the course of years to buy designer clothes and jewelry and trips to Europe.
Lisa Moore, 46, allegedly stole millions since being promoted to the top municipal job in 2010. The money was intended to pay for employee benefits, land preservation and the police department, among other township expenses, according to the district attorney.
"This case is all about greed," Chester County DA Tom Hogan said in a statement. "[Moore] was well-compensated, with an annual salary of over $100,000. But she decided to live the high life, funded by the taxpayers of Kennett Township."
Moore worked for Kennett since 1997 and rose through the municipal ranks. After her promotion to township manager, she had a salary of more than $120,000 a year.
Her alleged embezzlement included more than one scheme.
Sometimes, Moore paid herself directly from township funds by inflating the hours she worked, according to the complaint. Other times, the complaint says, Moore allegedly paid herself and recorded the payments as if the money was going to contracted vendors.
She also allegedly forged the signature of a township supervisor, one of the elected members of the local governing body, on checks she would write as cash to herself.
In addition to those alleged schemes, the DA said Moore also charged nearly $700,000 to the township credit card.
"This case is a reminder that a determined insider can always find a way to steal, using their knowledge of internal procedures and policies," Hogan said. "However, this case is also a reminder that public officials who steal from taxpayers eventually will be exposed, arrested and punished."
Moore has been charged with 138 criminal counts, including theft, forgery, receiving stolen property and tampering with public records. She was released after posting $500,000 bail.